We are almost halfway through November and equestrians everywhere are feeling the effects of all that no-stirrup work! Some are still feeling the pain, while others are settling in and enjoying some improvement in their riding.

A historic riding school in Atlantic Canada, the Halifax Lancers, has launched a fundraising campaign during No-Stirrups-November. Their riders will be collectively riding the distance across Canada and back (and then some) without their stirrups and are asking for pledges to support their non-profit riding school. Roughly 1,096 hours of planned stirrupless riding translates to over 15,000 km! Money raised will be used to care for the school’s 27 horses, and to repair ‘Patsy Cline’ their beloved old Massey Furguson tractor. The goal is $25,000; to date over $16,000 has been raised.

The only urban non-profit riding school in Canada, Halifax Lancers was founded in 1936 to make horses and riding accessible to children living in the city of Halifax. Their therapeutic and junior and adult programs now serve a diverse community of nearly 200 riders of varying abilities ranging in age from 8-70. Their programs help riders develop confidence, responsibility, community-mindedness, and sustain their physical and mental health.

Horse lovers across the country have been saddened by the plight many lesson barns are facing through the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that many stables have found ways to safely re-open and continue to offer programs, a similar ride-a-thon may be a way that riding schools across the country could look for support.

Every rider who got their start on a compassionate school horse should consider showing support for a lesson program near you, or send support to Halifax Lancers through their campaign here.